Received with glowing feedback since its first show in 1999, the Australian Cool Climate Wine Show held in Murrumbateman will return this September with entries from cool climate wine regions across Australia. The show consists of a week of wine judging and two public-ticketed marquee events.

The show brings wine lovers together from across Australia and is widely recognised as a beacon gourmet event for the region. Australian Cool Climate Wine Show manager of four years, Brent Lello, explains it’s a great way of putting Murrumbateman on the wine map and having people enjoy great food and wine.

“Fundamentally, it is a show that enables wine producers in cool climate regions to benchmark the quality of their wines with others from cool climate regions across Australia,” said Mr Lello. 

From Monday the 19th to Friday the 23rd, a panel of five judges will assess wines throughout the week. Judges are industry professionals, either winemakers or marketers, with much experience on the wine show judging circuit. 

Brent Lello – Setting up for a previous wine show

They will rate each wine and determine which is worthy of a bronze, silver, or gold medal. Gold medal wines are candidates for winning the Trophy wine for their class. A variety of wine classes will be judged, including 2022 vintages such as Chardonnay, Riesling, or Pinot Gris, as well as 2021 vintages such as Cabernet, Shiraz, or Pinot Noir. 

Wines will be judged from Cool Climate Wine Regions across Australia. They could originate anywhere in Tasmania and many areas of Victoria, including Yarra Valley or the Mornington Peninsula. New South Wales has many cool climate regions, including our own Murrumbateman and Canberra district, through to the Hilltops district, Gundagai, Tumbarumba, and Orange. In addition, cool climate regions from South and Western Australia are accepted, and even Queensland, represented by the Granite Belt region. 

According to Mr Lello, judges will be looking for varietal definition and will consider whether the wine is pristine and elegant and if wine-making faults are present. Importantly, these considerations are made through a cool climate lens.

“Shiraz wine from Murrumbateman, even though it’s the same grape variety as Shiraz wine from Barossa Valley, will be very different. What judges need to do is compare and judge those wines based on their knowledge of excellent wines being produced in a cool climate,” explained Mr Lello.

When no wine-making faults are identified, the wine possesses varietal definition, and it represents a good cool climate expression of the wine, the wine will be judged a medal in most cases.

Over the years, Murrumbateman has had four local wineries receive a trophy wine in their class. Mr Lello said that it is fantastic for the wines of our region to be judged best of all when five or six hundred wines are being judged. 

“It’s a great recognition of the fantastic work and progress that our local wine makers are making.”

While the official judging week is the critical event for the show, one of the most compelling aspects of the Australian Cool Climate Wine Show is the public day, held this year on Saturday the 24th. Two marquee events will be held, the first being a long table luncheon. 160 people have already bought tickets to enjoy the five-course gourmet lunch alongside medal-winning wines. 

Australian Cool Climate Wine Show long table

“It’s a standout, fantastic event which brings in not just people from the region, but many people from Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne, as well as other parts of Australia,” said Mr Lello.

The second event is public tastings, with a morning and afternoon session. For $45, one can spend two hours tasting their way around the judge-assessed wines representing all of Australia’s cool climate regions. 

The Australian Cool Climate Wine Show actively contributes to the local economy. With visitors coming into Murrumbateman from across Australia, local accommodation and businesses, especially local wineries, benefit greatly. 

The Australian Cool Climate Wine Show organisers work on a volunteer basis. President Brent Lello, Patron Virginia Rawling, Events Coordinator Marnie Rawling, Administration Manager Caitlin Fillingham, and Chief Steward Kim Williams are among the dedicated people giving their time and expertise to running the show. 

Tickets are still available for the public wine tasting event on Saturday, the 24th of September. Visit the Australian Cool Climate Wine Show website or Facebook page to purchase. 

Southerly Jones